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Sunday 18th Feb 2018

I don't know about you, but last week was crazy with Fantasy Football drafts for me.

First, there was the Experts Schmexperts draft, curated by my good friend Trace of Long Gandhi Fame. Then during the week, two slow drafts--The Kathy League Gifford and the North American Internet Fantasy Football League--both driven by my partner Lord Zola, ensued.

This all culminated Monday with the drafting of The Utter Genius League, driven by yet another mate, Michael Duca.

Now, I might have my troubles with some football leagues, but in the Utter Genius I won in 2010, and though I lost in the playoffs in 2011, my team The Smith Brothers (as I had both Steve Smith and Torrey Smith, although the cough drop box is our logo) had the most total points by season's end.

Last year, I again won, although my friend Jeff Smith maintains that he had the best team because he had the most points, even though I not only had the best won-loss, but I beat his Megalodons not once, but twice.

In 2011, the league freeze rules changed such that we were only allowed one keeper instead of two, so I let go of Ray Rice and hung onto Arian Foster, and grabbed Wes Welker and Marshawn Lynch with my next picks. I got the Bears defense, but where I struck paydirt was in drafting Russell Wilson as my #2 QB (behind Carson Palmer).

For, the Utter Genius League allows us to plug a second QB into a Flex spot, meaning playing a pair of signal callers is a great move. Well, as soon as the Raiders had their bye week, I dropped Palmer, who was then picked up by another team, so, I grabbed Colin Kaepernick, and, well, you can guess the rest.

So, this year I froze Lynch and Foster, figuring that when I got my first selections--picks 36 and 37--I would simply grab Kaepernick and Wilson back, assuming running backs and the likes of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning would eat up the bulk of early picks.


Both my desired quarterbacks were gone by the first two rounds, so I figured I would hold on that spot, drafting Darren Sproles and Victor Cruz with my first selections.  

In fact, I did not pick a quarterback till I got Joe Flacco in the sixth round. Actually, I think Flacco is seriously underrated this season for a guy who led his team to a Super Bowl win last year, although there are other guys I wanted more.

And, even though I do like playing a pair of QBs in leagues that offer that option, I chose Mark Ingram and Danny Woodhead, assuming Philip Rivers would still be there when I wanted him.

He wasn't.

Nor was the Seahawks or Bears defense.

Or even Vernon Davis or Jermichael Finley.

So, I wound up with Martellus Bennett and the Ravens defense on my roster.

In other words, "who are these guys?"

And, while I left the draft well covered at RB and WR, I was concerned elsewhere, especially at defense, for Ravens' stars Ray Lewis and Ed Reed retired during the off-season. Still, Baltimore did not win last year on the strength of two players, and they have had a strong defense for years. Not to mention they are well coached. 

At least that is what I told myself when I picked the Ravens.

In fact, Thursday, when I got to the Coliseum to cover the Athletics/Astros game, Jeff, who sits beside me at the yard, simply said "you're killing me."

For at the end of the first quarter, the Ravens had held the Broncos scoreless, while Flacco had thrown for a score.

"It's early", I replied, and the game began, and we did not pay any attention to the football score until the game was over. And, I discovered that the Ravens allowed 49 points, good for -11.2 for my team.

OK, so I know we have only finished one game, and there are 478 teams worth of numbers remaining, but I am getting a really bad feeling about this draft.

As in I already feel drafty.

And, while I did adjust with the free agent market last year building a winner, I don't feel so solid about the possibilities this year.

I think Jeff will cream me this first week. And, with Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles as his freezes, it will be his turn to run the table.

I guess karma is everywhere.


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